Is Quick & Easy Worth the Price – Personal Finance Review

May 12, 2008

Do you know the missing piece to the quick and easy equation: quick + easy = ?? 

When I studied project management, I learned that every project is bound by three constraints: time, quality, and cost.  If you want something done in a short amount of time and done well it’s going to cost you. quick + easy = expensive.

Fixing the Refrigerator
One morning last week we discovered our refrigerator had stopped cooling so we made some hasty phone calls to repairmen in our area.  When I asked a co-worker for a referral, he suggested I just fix the problem myself.  With a fridge full of food, no free time, an irritated wife, and zero desire to troubleshoot and learn about fridge repair I quickly decided it was a job for a professional. 

Two hundred-twenty dollars and a cool fridge later, I’m still happy with my decision.  More and more I’m starting to realize the benefit of hiring others to take on tasks I would have attempted myself in the past.  If I was interested in fridge repair I’d get a job at a small appliance repair shop or start one myself.

Do it Yourself vs. Hiring Someone
One bad thing about trying to do everything yourself is that your to-do list never gets any smaller.  You always have more things to do than you have time for and it gets discouraging. I’ve started working on a list of things I’m going to hire out. 

You should make a list as well.  Don’t get hung up on whether you can afford it or not.  Make the list and start pricing how much each thing would cost.  Some things may be out of you price range but maybe some won’t.   You don’t have much to lose, give the affordable ones a try.  If it doesn’t work out, stop outsourcing it.  If it does, you’ll have more time to focus on the important things in your life and your to-do list will get a little smaller.

Money Articles
Speaking of more time, I had a little more time to check out money articles this week, here are some I enjoyed.  

It’s graduation season and time for new seniors to think about their financial future. Generation X offers job hunting tips for new college graduates and My Dollar Plan is gathering financial advice for graduating seniors (and giving away an Amazon gift card).  I’m also covering some financial tips for college grads.

Gas prices just keep going up, boo!  My Money Blog suggests a way you can hedge against the rising prices, the Dough Roller looks at some online tools for finding low gas prices, and a while back I covered some of the best gas credit cards.

Many people are watching for their economic stimulus rebates, My Two Dollars thinks they’ll means higher taxes in the future.  If you’re wondering why your rebate check was smaller than expected read about the Treasury Offset Program. If you still haven’t gotten your rebate yet find out how to check on your economic stimulus payment.

From The Money Writers:

– Lazy Man has a brilliant business plan, we wish him well.

– Brip Blap offers 7 tips for simplifying your life.

– Million Dollar Journey compares retirement account options in Canada and the US.

– The Digerati Life offers some ways to earn extra income with odd jobs, here are three other ways to make extra money in a recession.

– The Sun takes another look at online savings & checking interest rates.

From The Money Blog Network:

-No Credit Needed talks about the financial realities of having a new baby. Babies are neat but also expensive!

– The Mighty Bargain Hunter asks whether using money as a reward for good behavior is a good idea.  Why can’t kids just behave all the time : )

– Free Money Finance recommends why you should stay invested in the market.  We just keep buying lower,…and lower,…. and lower : )

– Five Cent Nickel reminds us of the blockbuster total access gift card promotion. It used to be they were offering a 30 day trial of blockbuster total access, now it’s a two week trial

– Get Rich Slowly looks ahead to planning his life for early retirment.

– Myscha at WiseBread writes about saving the planet when you least expect it.

– Consumerism Commentary discusses the importance of certification when hiring a financial planner.  When we hired someone to look over our finances we went with a certified financial planner (CFP).

– All Financial Matters reminds us why putting our money into stocks should be a long term investment.


-Blueprint for Financial Prosperity takes a look at your options for online discount brokers and The Simple Dollar has twelve tactics for tackling debt.

– Last week Money Smart Life was featured in the Cavalcade of Risk, Festival of Frugality, and the Carnival of Personal Finance, thanks to the hosts!


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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